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Special Education

 
  
 
Grades close for Quarter 1 on November 3rd.  Report cards will go out on Thursday, 11/9 since there is no school on Friday the 10th.
 

In the Resource Room, my students have been busy learning many new skills and concepts.  Students in Grades 1-4 have been learning /writing letters-keywords-sounds and trick words, reading stories with fluency and their characters, setting, and main events.  My ELA students in Grades 5-8 have been reading different chapter books, learning to recognize grammar skill areas such as nouns/subjects, predicates and started pronouns, and learning to write spelling words with different patterns.  My Math students in Grades 5-8 in the regular classroom have been learning decimals to the hundredths, rounding/estimating decimals, working on projects (Dream House, Dream Vacation, Career/Budgeting) and algebraic areas.  It’s fun helping my students with their projects!  Exciting work happening!  Keep learning!

Meg Miller

Special Education



Wow!  I can't believe that we have been at school for a month!  Back to the regular routines: classwork, homework assignments, and weekly Spelling tests.

If you're like most parents, you spend a lot of time having your child recite their words out loud to make sure they know them. What students really need is how to write, recognize, and define their spelling words.  Here's a few new ways to practice spelling that are less like a Spelling Bee and more like spelling should be:

1. Create a set of flashcards. Have your child write their spelling word in pencil on one side an index card. They can trace the word in pen or marker to reinforce knowing the letters and shape the word makes when it’s spelled correctly. Read the word, turn the card over, write it again and flip to check her accuracy.

2. Create a second set of flashcards with the definition of the word on it. If possible, use a different color index card then the first set. You can read or show them the definition and they can tell you the word that goes with it. Flip the card over and write the correct spelling word on the back. Test themselves by writing the words on a separate piece of paper as they look at the card.

3. Use both sets of flashcards to play Spelling Memory. Arrange the flashcards in rows, face down on the table. Each player takes a turn to pick up a two cards, one of each color. If the word and definition match, the player keeps the cards. If not, she puts them back in the same place and it’s the next player’s turn. The players will have to remember the position of the cards in order to match them up. When all the cards are gone, the player with the most matches wins.

4. Use alphabet magnets or Scrabble tiles to spell out each word.

5. Write the word list on a piece of construction paper. Then cut the words apart into strips. Then, cut those words into letters and have them reconstruct the list.

6. Write sentences for each word. Make sure your child is using it in context to show that they understand the definition and part of speech of their spelling words.

7. Type their spelling words on the computer. This will help to reinforce how to spell each words and help them recognize what the words will look like in a book or other reading material.

8. Write or type a story using all of their spelling words. The story doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it should show that they know how to spell and use each word properly.

9.  Use the Spelling City website.  Parents can register for the free version  and input your child’s spelling word lists. Your child can then play games and activities or take practice tests on the site.

10. Use Discovery Education’s puzzlemaker tool. You can create word searches using your child’s spelling words.

11.  Alphabetize the word list. This can be done either by writing them in alphabetical order or by using the flashcards.

12.  Sit down with your child, two pencils and a piece of paper. Tell them the spelling word you’ll be practicing and write the first letter of the word. Pass the paper to them so they can add the next letter. You add the letter after that, repeating until the word is spelled. You can do this with all of their words and up the ante by having them write the next two or three letters before passing the paper back to you.  

13. Create Mad Libs only using the spelling words. You can either buy Mad Libs books for just this purpose or find them online at Wacky Web Tales.

14. Let your child play with her food. They can use a fork to trace their spelling words in their mashed potatoes or spell them out with alphabet cereal.

15.  Use old magazines or newspapers to find spelling words and cut them out.
Hope you and your child enjoy doing some of these Spelling tips.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at school at 246-7082 or email at mmiller@scs.sau7.org

Meg Miller, Special Educator


 
September 2017
 
Welcome Back, Students and Parents!
 
This year, I will be continuing to service Kindergarten through Grade 8 students with Special Needs in their deficit areas such as ELA, Math, and Early Intervention in my Resource Room, as well as in the regular classroom for Grades 5-8. I will also be incorporating Responsive Classroom and Growth Mindset language into my curriculum as much as possible.
 
We all know that homework is a difficult issue for most children with learning challenges and their families.  They can spend an inordinate amount of time completing their assignments, frequently double or triple the time it takes a more typically developing student.  Since kids with learning challenges work so hard at school and life, they need time to recoup and recharge their batteries.
 
 The following suggestions are constructive ways parents can help their child complete their work in a timely way:
  • Accept reality.  Children with learning challenges will probably always need to spend more time on homework than other children.
  • Work with the school to make sure your child is doing enough homework to receive practice they need to consolidate their skills and understanding.
  • Since your goal is to encourage your child to become an independent and autonomous learner, supply the kind of help that encourages them to realize their goal.  Be available for questions, verbal clarifications, and explanations.  Help your child start on an assignment and then let them complete the next portion of the assignment independently.
  • Children with learning challenges over-rely on previously learned material when they are asked to learn something new.  Ask them to summarize the previous events before they tackle a new part. Ask them leading questions to help them connect what they know with new information.
  • Curb their tendency to perfectionism while still encouraging a pride in their work and learning. Help them realize the main point of the assignment and encourage them to channel their energy into "the big picture" and not every detail.
  • Help them construct drawings, charts, and diagrams.  They can tell you what to draw so you are not doing their work for them.  Encourage them to use the computer to construct visual representations.
  • Take an interest in what they are reading.  Continue to read to them even after they are proficient at this skill. Discuss the ideas and characters contained in the works.
  • Help them develop a system of organization so they can locate papers and books. One system employs a series of different colored folders, each used to hold a different subject (Math homework in the red folder, etc.) Have the child write the name of the subject on each folder.  Try to keep an extra set of textbooks at home. [Taken from "Helping Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities to Flourish"]

Hopefully these suggestions help your child become an independent and autonomous learner.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at school at 246-7082 or email at mmiller@scs.sau7.org.  Have a great start of the year!

Meg Miller, Special Educator

 

"There is no substitute for hard work."  Thomas Edison